Pyra was the first to call me and ask me to free her from the prison, the Hell, her own mind had created. Her hands shook and her eyes shiny with tears as she begged me to punish her, so she could move on. Pyra wanted to go anywhere even Hell, to get away from this crime she had committed. Looking around it seemed to me that she was stuck in a box on fire.
The flames kept changing, they were around the house, then in the house, then just a little crackle creeping from the fireplace, then everywhere again. There was a man in a chair that kept disappearing. He never moved his blackly dark staring corpse. But the corpse would disappear then reappear. The box looked like a house but there was only one room as far as I could see, the dining room where the man’s black corpse kept popping in and out unexpectedly. Yet there must have been more rooms Pyra could see, because she walked in and out of the flaming doorways as if she was going to different rooms.
“I’m so glad you’re here.” She spoke timidly, her body shaking, rubbing her hands in anxiety. “I know I must be punished, please don’t make me wait anymore.”
The woman’s eyes tearfully pleaded. Her clothing was from 1870’s I guessed. I sensed she wanted to hold on to me and stay with me. But for some reason she suddenly started moving about terrified. She was reliving her crime.
She was packing, she had to get away. He was coming. She was so scared of him. She’d rather die than stay with him. He came home, she pretended everything was fine. But he knew better, he yelled at her, saying nasty things about her, hit her and kicked her, like a dog.
Then it gets blurry, she isn’t thinking straight. Things happen in a rush I can’t keep up. Next thing I know his corpse is in the chair and she is sobbing beside it. He is dead and Pyra has killed him. How I can’t figure out. There is no blood and no wound. Hit over the head? His head looked fine, there is no sign of bump or bruise, not even a hair seems out of place. Heart attack? That would be convenient, too convenient. Prya clearly thinks she killed him. But she is so passive subservient, like a servant! That is when I see the wine glass on the table. Poison, that makes sense.
Prya had thought of poisoning him first I realize. She had it all ready, but then she got scared and didn’t want to kill him. Oh my! She still loved him. This man had made her life unbearable but she still loved him. She had changed her mind and decided to run away. She would have, if he had not come home too soon. She gets up sadly and starts spreading the fire. She had planned it that way before, she would poison him and then burn the house down with his corpse in it so no one would know how he died.
The fire spreads fast. She is moving slow. Suddenly she realizes she could be killed and starts to run for the door, but stops, turns around and looks at her dead husband. She doesn’t move as the flames lick her. She thinks she deserves this, to burn in Hell. So she executes herself and has been stuck here ever since.
Her soul couldn’t really go to Hell I know, because she died with love in her heart. It’d be like trying to drown a balloon. No matter how many times you push it down it floats to the surface.
I took her hand, full of sympathy. As I led her to the door of her burning home I kept picturing a field of flowers. When I opened the door, it was there. She tried to argue, I kept insisting, “this is where you belong.” Finally, I told her it was all a bad dream, (as it was for me.) “You got away before he came home. The rest never happened.”
I don’t think she believed it, but Prya took her first step into the meadow of flowers and disappeared in a flash of light. I never saw her or dreamed of her again, but every once in a while when I dream I’m helping a woman get away from her abusive partner, I feel like Prya’s there, cheering us on.